I was having second thoughts to celebrate Imbolc this Saturday night or on the actual day itself, February 2. Imbolc for most Pagans is the celebration of the stirring of life itself inside the bowels of the Earth Mother. This celebration is also mostly associated with the Feast of Briga, the Celtic Goddess of the flame. Bonfires are being lit on this night and the flicker of the flames can be seen across the countryside.
For a Pagan living in the Philippines, the celebration of the return of life from the cold winter is not really very evident. Since the flora in the country do not really "hibernate" to begin with. We still honor the power of the flame though and in my hometown, Iloilo City, it is very evident with the celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Candles- Nuestra Se�ora de la Candelaria. Devotees of this image of Mary flock the Jaro Cathedral to purchase the "Perdon", a blessed candle used when you pray for your intentions.
As a Pagano honoring the Goddess Hekate, I still celebrated the Sabbat by honoring the Goddess in her epitaph Hekate Phosporus - the Torch Bearer and Hekate Lucifera, the Light Bringer. Since this is a feast to honor the flame, I covered my altar with red cloth and lit my lamp. I bought red roses, and used a pink candle (I ran out of big red candles) sprinkled with cinnamon, a Fire herb. Present on my altar are "binangkal" a deep fried bread covered with sesame seeds, bay leaves, an apple cut, to show the pentagram in its middle, a pinch cinnamon, a bulb of garlic (another fire herb). I also lit some incenses. I also indulged on a cup of hot herbal tea and left a goblet full for my offering.
I started the ritual with a salutation to Hekate to use her keys to open the door to the realm of the Divine. I also asked Ianus, my patron Lord to allow the doors to opened since He is the guardian of the gates. I dedicated the rite to the celebration of the Flame, it's power, it's majesty and it's importance. I also cleansed myself and my room by visualizing the Goddess' flame cleaning and purifying my sacred space, my body and spirit. By the way, I do not really invoked the other elements because first, it is a celebration honoring fire and second, I believe that my room is already a sanctum and is ever ready to be converted to a sacred space.
Lastly, I asked the Goddess and the God for protection and good health. I asked them to strengthen my spiritual fire so I would be sustained. I also replenish the wards and seals put inside my room for protection. I ended the celebration by thanking the Deities and letting the altar candle burn out.
Ave Hekate Phosporus, Hekate Lucifera! Salve Hekate Pandeina!